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Photos by Ken and Diana Dado
Pioneer quarterback Tommy McAuliff (11) looks downfield as ake Wantroba (6) and Jake Liskiewiez (45) try to get open during the Homecoming game against Tinley Park on Sept. 13.

Tinley Park prevails in
Pee-Wee B defensive struggle

Pioneers can’t keep scoreboard operator busy in 6-0 loss

 

By Ed Muniz

 
ORLAND PARK -- With the first three games of the homecoming spectacular now in the books, the Orland Park Pioneers’ scoreboard keeper must have felt like the loneliest guy at the John Humphrey Sports Complex.
 
With no official score being kept in those games Saturday, the operator’s services were not needed. But when the Pee-Wee B Pioneers took to the field, all the functions of running the clock and scoreboard came into play and smiles abounded in the press box.
 
There were four timed quarters, with stoppages as the results of play on the field. Two 25-minute continuous clock halves were used for the first three games.
 
Coach Tom McAuliffe and his Pioneers were hopeful of keeping that scoreboard busy, but the play of both the Pioneers and the visiting Bulldogs, of Tinley Park, soon put the game into a defensive battle. When that final second ticked off the clock, the Pioneers fell short 6-0.
 
Right from the start, the Pioneers defense wasn’t giving an inch and resulted in the Bulldogs losing yardage on their opening drive.
 
Joseph Shelton, Bart Dziadkowiec and Jimmy Rodler were dominating the push against the offensive line and forced the Bulldogs to punt.
 
When the Pioneers got their first crack offensively, the go-to guy was Jacob Maziarka, who used his speed and power running to gain a first down. You could sense that the Bulldogs were reeling some as they tried to stop Maziarka.
 
But luck was with the Bulldogs. At midfield, they managed to grab a fumble and stop the positive Pioneers drive.
 
The first quarter came to an end with the Pioneers again dominating the line. Nicholas Edelen, Ryan McPolin and Thomas Starcevich all busted through with tackles.
 
To open the second quarter, it got better for the Pioneers when Dziadkowiec rushed through and blocked the Bulldogs punt, which was picked up by Ben Schieber. He raced 15 yards before being stopped.
 
The Pioneers were unable to take advantage of the big defensive play. They couldn’t advance past the Bulldogs 11-yard line on four attempts and turned over the ball.
 
The game’s lone score came on the next play when a Bulldogs running back managed to get to the sidelines untouched and raced 89 yards for the 6-0 lead following the missed extra point.
 
The running of Maziarka and Michael Ulleweit kept the Pioneers chugging forward, but with the time running down, they were unable to get the equalizing score before halftime.
 

Pioneers running back Michael Ulleweit (42) runs for a 10-yards against Tinley Park.

 

The second half saw the Bulldogs defense step it up a notch. No matter what the Pioneers offense and quarterback Tommy McAuliffe did, they were unable to find the end zone. 
 
McAuliffe, Shelton and Maziarka kept testing the Bulldogs defense and did manage to grab good piles of yardage, but not where the points are tallied.
 
Again the Pioneers defense held steady after one mistake and they became quite stingy with the field position. Jackson Schramm, Gavin Kissane and McPolin were determined to keep their opponents from scoring.
 
For McPolin, who led all Pioneers with seven tackles in the game, it was simple.
 
“You just have to keep pushing and work to get through and then you can make the tackle, that’s what I do," he said. "It’s pretty simple.”
 
McPolin did add that he thought his team needs to get a little tougher but felt they were still a pretty good team.
 
Coach McAuliffe said, “I thought we played much better in the second half and overall played very well. We had one mistake that turned out to be the winning score, but we are improving and we will better each game. Our boys played hard and all did quite well.”
 
Others adding to the Pioneers’ effort included: Jake Wantroba, Justin Sewers, Shaw Stukel, Tommy Ward, Luke Paciga, Kyle Peterson, Trevor Jennings, Jake Liskiewicz, Zachary Ruisz, Jimmy Rolder and Julian Loeza.
 
Cheering on the Pioneers were: Avery Bartley, Ella Gillund, Emma Herout, Amber Hoak, Giselle Jreisat, Carrington Landers, Mia Maniatis, McKayla Onderwater, Sydney Pisarik, Terra Schommer, Genevieve Schramm, Aleksandra Simkus, Gretchen Steenvoorden, Kayla Thurner and Betty Tsoutsas.
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